During A's manager Bob Melvin’s pregame availability Thursday, one of the reporters broke the news to him that 21-year veteran Albert Pujols had been released by the Los Angeles Angels after 10 years with the team.
“First ballot Hall of Famer. That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” Melvin told reporters.
“He’s given me a lot of pain over the years,” Melvin joked. “A guy that is clutch, a guy that’s respected around the league.”
Pujols, who has been in the AL West playing against the A’s for a decade, has a career .265 average and .737 OPS across 144 games against Oakland.
His overall résumé includes three MVP Awards, two World Series championships, 10 All-Star selections, a batting title in 2003 after finishing the season with a .359 average, two Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers.
Interestingly enough, former MLB general manager Jim Bowden listed the A’s as a possibility of a future home for Pujols.
Now, Mitch Moreland is doing fabulously at the designated hitter position, and there’s no way the A’s would ask two-time Gold Glove Award winner Matt Olson to sit out, but Oakland has made moves like this before.
Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza and Nomar Garciaparra have finished their illustrious careers with the A’s after playing elsewhere previously. All were veterans who wanted to continue their careers, and it appears Pujols still wants to play.
Nothing is being said or talked about to my knowledge, but it’s an interesting thought. It's also possible he returns to St. Louis, where he spent 11 years of his career, as a move where he could retire as a Cardinal.
“Obviously, it seems like every hit he gets -- or was getting -- broke some sort of record, or moved him past somebody on the all-time list,” Melvin said. “So yeah, that’s I have to digest that a little bit, but what an absolute class act and absolutely fantastic player. I wish him the best, we’ll see if he lands somewhere else. If he does, he’ll probably land in our division and play against us.”